Here I sit on a Sunday morning. Outside in the 40 degree weather with a slight breeze. My coffee is already getting a little cold. It’s 7:47am and I’ve already gotten my workout in and my debit card number has already been stolen. Nope – Drew wasn’t online shopping in bed at 6am. I bet those thieves were bummed when that $300 transaction didn’t go through! Not how I pictured my Sunday morning. But the card has been canceled and that’s all I can do about it until tomorrow. So here’s to enjoying the rest of the day!! I got a great night’s sleep because Samson slept through the night for the first time in months! PLUS an extra hour because of the time change! Today will be great!
My writing has been on and off in the last year. It’s something I love, but also something that I have to force myself to do. Just like reading & working out. Why are these things such a struggle to do, yet once completed, feel the best? I have a feeling I’ll be asking myself that question for the rest of my life. If anyone has the answer, please fill me in. Though – my guess is – this is something I’ll have to figure out for myself even if someone else does have the answer.
Coffee Break. Mmmmm the house smells like bacon.
I want to go back to the week of Prayer & Action. July 23rd-28th. Months before, when I found out P&A was in Beloit, I was so excited! I thought, “Great! I’ll just be hanging out with a babe all summer and we’ll just load up and hang out over there & still be able to come home at night. It’ll be fabulous!” HA! I laugh at my optimistic pre-parent thoughts. This was a very difficult week for me. One of those realizations that life has changed. Looking back, I love it. In the moment, it was hard.
Prayer & Action started on a Sunday. I left the house around 3 to go pick up the girls and head to Beloit. I was away from home from 3-9pm. It was the longest I’d ever been away from Samson and the longest Drew had ever been alone with him. He had been particularly fussy the week prior, hadn’t been sleeping hardly at all and was still in a phase where I seemed to be the only one who could calm him down. But even my efforts were failing this week. My husband and I were both on edge about everything – you could cut the tension with a knife.
During the evening activities, I tried my hardest to be present. I tried to be excited and happy and all the other things you should be at P&A. Sadly, lack of sleep, tension in my household, a little postpartum depression and anxiety left me in a fog. I felt like the girls needed me there. I felt like my baby needed me at home. About 8:15pm, while we were singing songs, I was nearly in tears. I decided I wasn’t doing anyone any good by being there and excused myself to go home.
When I got home – it was flipping 90 degrees in our house. The A/C wasn’t working. Great. I was already worked up and now this. I was so worried about Samson being in that heat for so long, that we packed up a few things and stayed in a little hotel here in Cawker. Stayed – not slept – because I don’t think any of us got any sleep that night. At least we weren’t sweating our asses off though.
The morning routine at P&A starts with the rosary at 7am, followed by mass and breakfast. I intended to go over to this each morning. After Sunday night’s fun, however, I debated. “I could go home and sleep, but chances are, I probably wouldn’t sleep. If I go, I need to get myself dressed and leave by 6:30. Ugh. But, I guess it would probably do me some good to start my day with a little Mary & Jesus.” Sam and I packed up and headed to Beloit.
When I first started exploring the Catholic faith, I questioned the rosary. What is this thing people are doing before mass? Why are they doing it? Do I have to do it too? What are they even saying? Is there some sort of guide I can follow? They’re saying it so fast, do they even know what they’re saying? Man, that’s a long time to kneel! The first time I really learned about it was my first time at P&A in Ellsworth, 2015. It was the first time I heard it a little slower and the first time I’d seen in prayed by younger people. I asked questions & got some answers. I have come to love its meditativeness.
I sat in a pew toward the front on the left. I still wonder why I chose to go toward the front and hope I wasn’t too distracting to others. I was distracting to myself. I listened as others prayed the rosary and tried to join in. But all the while, my eyes were fixed on Samson. Wondering when he would start crying, if he needed a diaper change, if I should take him out and hold him, if others were watching me, if I was doing this mom thing right. I’m not even sure if I spoke any part of the rosary out loud and my mind was highly distracted. However, I left that day with a message that the holy spirit wanted me to hear. His words, that I now understood in a new light.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
The Lord said to me: Shannon, stop being tempted with your worries. Stop giving in to your anxieties. Stop letting the devil take over your mind, telling you that you are a bad mother and a bad wife. Stop letting him tell you that you are not good enough. These are the evils that lie within and are the loudest evils of all. Pray to me. I am here to deliver you from your evils.